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Iran's Hardliner Judiciary Calls Rouhani's Criticism 'Sour Grapes'

Spokesperson of Iran's Judiciary, Gholamhossein Esmaeili. File photo

The conservative rivals of President Hassan Rouhani escalated the political infighting in Iran on Sunday, November 10, by accusing him of being "short-tempered."

Hours earlier, Rouhani had demanded answers from the Judiciary about cases of large-scale corruption in a speech in Yazd.

The Islamic Republic Judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaeili, argued that Rouhani was merely angry because the judicial department has sentenced his younger brother to jail.

Rouhani's younger brother and close advisor, Hossein Fereydoun, who was also a member of the nuclear negotiating team, was sentenced last May to seven years jail for "receiving bribes."

An appeal court later reduced the jail term to five years but ordered Fereydoun to return any property that he had acquired illegally and fined him $9 million, (based on the country's official exchange rate).

The commander of security forces guarding the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Fereydoun, has denied any wrongdoing, and some supporters of the president maintained the case was a move by hardliners in the Judiciary to discredit him.

Dismissing claims that sentencing Fereydoun to jail was politically motivated, Esmaeili insisted that the Islamic Republic Judiciary was resolved to fight corruption.

Hours earlier on Sunday, while visiting the city of Yazd, Rouhani had lambasted the Judiciary by saying, "The people will not be deceived by taking a few individuals to court and making a fuss about it."

He also threatened that should the Judiciary fail to reveal more significant corruption cases, he will continue to talk about them during his visits to provinces.